21 Oct

Media Ethics in the Cyber Age

Media has always been influencing the society and it plays a prominent role in the present day world. Media serves mainly for three purposes – to inform, to educate and to entertain. It makes everybody aware of what’s going on around us. For this purpose, media requires freedom. Since our constitution provides the ‘Right to freedom of Expression and Speech’ (Article 19(1) (A)) which is one of our Fundamental  rights, therefore the media has also got the rights to express their views to the public.

Yet there are limits to the freedom enjoyed by the media as well as by any individual. And hence media should follow a few sets of rules maintaining the order , which is referred to as ‘Media Ethics’. These ethics must be followed and adopted by the media personals and professionals so as to ensure a fair and unbiased news reporting and coverage which defies no rules nor hurt the feelings of any individual or particular group of society. A research conducted on professional ethics cutting across varied professions shows that only 18% of the journalists follow ethics of any sort. So there is a need for the media to be aware of such ethics and duties as well as responsibilities, especially in this Cyber age.

In the contemporary world people experience lack of privacy even celebrities and politically active citizens. Many online users especially youngsters have become victims of mental harassment. We are all aware of the cyber crimes going on the online world. Hacking is another one of the major problems faced by the people which is also a threat to organizations even the government institutions. It intrudes into their privacy and sometimes send out many potentially harmful messages on their behalf without the knowledge of the holder.

Media is supposed to serve for the betterment of the society but now its function has been reduced to just marketing. Rather than working for public interest it favors personal interests of individuals and prominent groups.  Now, it is slowly diverting from its original motives towards a profit-oriented motive . This has to be rectified and the media should serve for its original purpose again.